Techdirt Deemed Harmful To Minors In Germany

from the ah,-censorship dept

Hanno alerts us to the news that Techdirt has apparently been deemed harmful to minors in Germany. The German Media Control Authority has apparently been pushing internet "youth filters" to protect kids from dangerous things online. So far, it has officially approved two internet filters. Hanno got his hands on one and discovered that Techdirt was one of many blocked sites (Google translation from the original German) -- as the filter declares that Techdirt has pornographic images and depictions of violence. We do?

Hanno reached out to a spokesperson for the JusProg filter, and got the usual runaround. "We do not want to censor political opinions." The spokesperson claims that the system is automated and looks at links. When asked why Techdirt was blocked, it was explained that since we use certain words "perhaps twenty times" in discussions about pornography and censorship, the system deemed us clearly a danger. Apparently, we can appeal to JusProg, but it appears that might require some familiarity with German... So, in the meantime, let's just hope that we haven't already damaged the youth of Germany too much.

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  1. icon
    mudlock (profile), 22 Feb 2012 @ 12:31pm

    It's All True

    To be serious for a moment: Yes, Techdirt discusses violence and pornography all the time. So often, that you find it useful to have tags for these topics (and the porn tag misses all the stories about Perfect 10's ongoing legal adventures.)

    Ironically, these tags are almost always used in the context of censorship: either censorship of violent video games, or the prevention of pornography as an excuse for censorship provisions in overly-burdensome copyright laws.

    It would be idiotic to claim that Techdirt doesn't discuss violence and porn; so don't be an idiot. Instead, use this as a teachable moment, about how filters can't distinguish between ACTUAL violence and porn and public DISCUSSION about the issues of violence and porn, making their use a dangerous assault on free and open speech.

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